Cover photo for Retired Lieutenant James Arnold Hickson's Obituary
Retired Lieutenant James Arnold Hickson Profile Photo
1946 Retired 2021

Retired Lieutenant James Arnold Hickson

October 22, 1946 — May 13, 2021

James Arnold Hickson Age 74, a retired MNPD Lieutenant, of Nashville transitioned from this earthly life to eternal life on Thursday, May 13, 2021.


James Arnold Hickson (affectionately called “Arnold” by family and friends) was born on October 22, 1946, to Glover Moore Hickson, Jr. and Justine Odom Hickson in Denmark, South Carolina, both preceding him in death. He was educated in the public school system in his hometown in Aiken, South Carolina. After graduating from Schofield High School, he attended South Carolina State University (SCSU) where he was a standout defensive basketball player. He received his Bachelor of Science in May 1967. His dominant skills and stature on the basketball court was uniquely recognized by the American Football League (later renamed the National Football League). He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys as a defensive back. Ultimately, he was waived by the Cowboys and scouted by the New Orleans Saints; however, he decided not to pursue a professional football career. His advocacy for civil rights and social justice combined with his love of sports, led him to accepting the Head Coach position of the only all black High School in Walterboro, South Carolina.



In February 1968, after the Orangeburg Massacre, South Carolina’s governor hired black agents for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). James was the second black agent appointed to join SLED, thus pathing the way for African American law enforcement in South Carolina. James recognized the necessity for higher education in African Americans. His affinity for education grew earning him a Master of Science from SCSU in 1972.



James served SLED for 7 years until relocating to Nashville, Tennessee in the 1975. After relocating to Nashville, he met Susan Lynn Osborne. They married on July 1, 1981. The commitment to his community and public service led him to join the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD), where he served in many facets. He was an instructor for the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy (TLETA), Metro Police Academy, Vice and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. He matriculated through the ranks to the title of Lieutenant of the Intelligence Division. He retired from MNPD in 2010 after 33 years of dedicated service.


He continued his passion educating at Tennessee State University (TSU). He was an adjunct instructor teaching karate, swimming, and racketball courses.


James was a devout Christian and faithful servant. For many years, he served on the deacon board at The Tabernacle of Glory Church, formerly Pilgrim Emmanuel Baptist Church. He continued his ministry as a deacon at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 32nd Avenue North, until his death.
During his lifelong servitude, he gave back to the community through several organizations: Fraternal Order of Police, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Our Daily Bread Ministries, and The Untouchables social club.


He was preceded in death by his brother, Dr. Glover M. E. Hickson, III, R.Ph.; son, Reverend James A. Hickson Lee; nephew, Sherman Hickson, Jr.


James Hickson leaves a legacy of love that will be cherished through his family; a devoted wife, Susan L. Hickson; children, Dexter (Sherrena) Hickson Lee, Kenneth “Kenny” (Saida Binhazim) Hickson, and Regina Hickson; brother, Dr. Sherman R. (Dr. Eavon) Hickson, Sr.; sister-in-law, Dr. Doris Hickson, all of Aiken, SC; six grandchildren, Dexter Hickson Lee, Jr., Aaron Hickson Lee, Jessica Hickson Lee, Jason Hickson Lee, Illiyas Hickson, and Idrees Hickson; great-grandchildren, Shachaar Hickson Lee and Alaiya Hickson Lee; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who will also miss him dearly.



Walk through visitation Thursday, May 20th, from 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at Highland Hills Funeral Home, 2422 Brick Church Pike. Visitation Friday, May 21st from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 noon with funeral to follow at Friendship M. B. Church, 1109 32nd Avenue North. Interment Woodlawn Memorial Park.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Retired Lieutenant James Arnold Hickson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Walk Through Visitation

Thursday, May 20, 2021

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Highland Hills Funeral Home & Crematory

660 Thompson Ln, Nashville, TN 37204

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